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Learning Africa's stories: Chris Abani on TED.com

Posted by: Tedstaff

Novelist and poet Chris Abani believes the heart of a place can be best understood through its poems and narratives. He talks about African and Nigerian stories — including his own story of artistic and political awakening, which began with an inventive teacher who taught him the forbidden history of his own people. How, he asks, can we reconcile stories of terror and war and corruption with one’s enduring sense of pure wonder? (Recorded June 2007 in Arusha, Tanzania. Duration: 17:49.)

Watch Chris Abani’s talk on TED.com, where you can download it, rate it, comment on it and find other talks and performances.

Read more about Chris Abani on TED.com.

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Comments (2)

  • Regan Heavey commented on Jul 30 2008

    I love the poem – said beautifully – and shared. Imagine any animal (rightly in fear of it’s life) crossing paths with a human who kills it, disects and processes it and makes it into an instrument to make music when all we have to do is watch and listen – now.

  • Ikhem "Is made of truth" commented on Aug 14 2007

    As an Igbo and an Igbo history researcher (though sometimes labeled too determined and competitive ), I find a part of Chris Abani statement to be an unintentional insult. Though in someways I view him as a bright individual, I must say that, “a Pakistani-Muslim teaching young Igbo children Jewish history” instead of Igbo history spells death of a people if left uncorrected. History best serve those who do the research it.

    And then disregarding “homosexuality” which it’s pared with the expressions “pure love”? “all of it”? I truly hope underneath all that your marbles are well intact.